Op Ed by Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress
MICHIGAN, Jan. 31, 2019: Progress Michigan is praising
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for an executive order improving
transparency in state
the time public agencies can take when responding to Freedom
of Information Act requests.
“As a watchdog organization all too familiar with state agencies
dragging their feet to respond to requests for public documents
under the Snyder administration, we’re pleased to see this sort
of progress being made only a month into Governor Whitmer’s
first term,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of
Progress Michigan. “There’s still work to do to expand FOIA
to the legislature and governor’s office, and we’d urge
legislative leaders to follow the governor’s lead and push for
FOIA reform now.”
According to a news release from Gov. Whitmer’s office, the
executive order signed today seeks to improve transparency by:
Designating a transparency liaison within departments and
agencies to facilitate Freedom of Information Act requests and
find ways to disclose public records in a cost-efficient manner.
Limiting the use of extension periods to grant Freedom of
Information Act requests in a timely manner.
Encouraging all Freedom of Information Act requests to be
fulfilled by, or before, the deadline.
Requiring departments or agencies to send a notice if the
request will take longer to fulfill.
Prohibiting members from using electronic communication to
conduct business during public meetings.
Urging the use of live streaming to broadcast public meetings to
anywhere in the state.
Compelling the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget
to devise an online system where public notices and records can
“We’ve had some really cold days in Michigan lately, but the
sunshine is finally beginning to show through,” Scott concludes.